News and press releases

  • GLS
    2 February 2017
    Signed, sealed and delivered this Valentine’s Day
  • New research by Royal Mail has revealed that when it comes to sharing the love this Valentine’s Day, the traditional methods of expressing love win out with more than two thirds (67%) planning on giving a card.
  • Almost one in ten (8%) admitted that they are going to send two with a further 4% posting three cards
  • Partners and spouses are the top recipients (92%), followed by children (4%) and secret crush (3%). Parents and secret lovers (2%) share the next spot on the list coming in just before pets (1%).
  • Of those interviewed, 6% admitted they will be sending themselves a card on 14th February.  25-34 year olds are most likely to pop a card in the post with their name on (11%).
  • Make yourself feel good (64%), ensure that you receive at least one card (26%) and make someone jealous (23%) are the main reasons for a self-sent Valentine’s Day card. Nearly a fifth (19%) confessed that they were going to send themselves a card to show their parents that they had a significant other while a further 6% were doing it to show their friends that they have a significant other.
     

New research by Royal Mail has revealed that when it comes to sharing the love this Valentine’s Day, the traditional methods of expressing love win out with more than two thirds (67%) planning on giving a card. This compares to just 5% who said they had previously sent an emoji instead of a Valentine’s Day card.

Contrary to popular belief, men are more likely to send a card (68%) than women (65%) with 45-54 year olds (69%) feeling the most love. 

Of the 2,000 interviewed who are giving a card, 88% said they are planning on sending one Valentine's Day card this year. Almost in one ten (8%) admitted that they are going to send two with a further 4% posting three cards.

Partners and spouses are the top recipients (92%), followed by children (4%) and secret crush (3%). Parents and secret lovers (2%) share the next spot on the list coming in just before pets (1%). When it comes to secret lovers, women are more likely to wake up to a card on Valentine’s Day - more men (2%) are planning to give a card to their secret lover than women (1%).

It seems that those who are unsure of whether they will receive a card are taking matters into their own hands, as 6% of those interviewed admitted they will be sending themselves a card on 14th February.  Those aged between 25 and 34 year olds are most likely to pop a card in the post with their name on (11%).

Make yourself feel good (64%), ensure that you receive at least one card (26%) and make someone jealous (23%) are the main reasons for a self-sent Valentine’s Day card. Nearly a fifth (19%) confessed that they were going to send themselves a card to show their parents that they had a significant other while a further 6% were doing it to show their friends that they have a significant other. Women are most likely to send themselves a card to show their parents that they have a significant other (31%) while men do it to make themselves feel good (68%).

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “The introduction of universal postage in the early Victorian era led to a blossoming of romantic communication across the UK. Even now, the postal network remains one of the most popular ways to share love tokens.

“Our research found that one in five (18%) people are planning to use Royal Mail’s network to deliver their love this Valentine’s Day. As with those early communications in the late 18th century, the reasons for sending a card via the post - nice surprise (60%), adds mystery (45%) and more thoughtful (24%) – no doubt remain the same.” 

History of Valentine’s Day cards
One of the earliest surviving Valentine’s Day card dates from 1790 and is known as a ‘Puzzle Purse’. The recipient was required to unfold the card in a certain way to reveal a romantic verse inside. Learn how to fold your own ‘Puzzle Purse’ here: https://www.youtube.com/user/royalmail

The oldest printed card in the world was sent in 1797 and has been pierced in the corners to produce a lace effect. Similar to modern day cards, it is decorated with cupids, doves and flowers.

It took over 40 years for the practice of sending Valentine’s Day cards to really take shape. By the 1840s, and thanks to the introduction of the Penny Post, all sorts of cards where sent to loved ones including scented sachets, pop-up designs, musical cards and even ones that exploded like Christmas crackers. This signalled the start of the nation’s 277-year love affair with Valentine’s Day cards.

See how our expressions of love have changed over centuries here: http://gallery.royalmailgroup.com/valentine

Ends

ISSUED BY
Royal Mail press office on 0203 338 1007
rebecca.maund@royalmail.com
0203 338 1007

About Royal Mail
Royal Mail plc is the parent company of Royal Mail Group Limited, the leading provider of postal and delivery services in the UK and the UK’s designated universal postal service provider. UK Parcels, International and Letters (“UKPIL”) comprises the company’s UK and international parcels and letters delivery businesses operating under the “Royal Mail” and “Parcelforce Worldwide” brands. Through the Royal Mail Core Network, the company delivers a one-price-goes-anywhere service on a range of parcels and letters products. Royal Mail has the capability to deliver to more than 29 million addresses in the UK, six days a week (excluding UK public holidays). Parcelforce Worldwide operates a separate UK network which collects and delivers express parcels. Royal Mail also owns General Logistics Systems (GLS) which operates one of the largest ground-based, deferred parcel delivery networks in Europe.